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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Using an Environmental Management System to Improve Vertebrate Pest Programs


Vertebrate pest management characteristically focuses on research and development of control tools and their application. Similarly, integrated pest management (IPM) principles focus on control methods and habitat alteration to reduce risks from pest species. Organizational structure, administrative elements, and program management are rarely identified as key components of IPM or the development and execution of vertebrate pest strategies; however, they should be included when seeking sustainable and costeffective programs. In urban areas, rodent control programs typically are reactionary and uncoordinated rather than preventative and systematic, resulting in short-term results that cannot be sustained. Use of an environmental management system (EMS), as described by ISO 14001 standards, establishes program structure and priorities for improvement. As part of the EMS, an Aspect Register can be used to identify risk factors and specific mitigation measures; for example, this can be done on a national scale to rank cities at greatest risk of rodent infestations or for program development and execution within an individual city block or building. Emphasis on program and systems management, organizational skills, risk factors, multi-disciplinary training, and prevention is needed as part of vertebrate pest management. Technology often is not the limiting factor; rather it is administrative and management elements for sustainable and effective program execution.

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